Ukrainian President Fires Security Chief and Supreme Prosecutor

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attends a joint news briefing with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (not seen) as the Russian attack on Ukraine continues, in Kiev, Ukraine, July 11, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

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Kiev, July 17 (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy late Sunday issued executive orders dismissing the head of Ukraine’s powerful internal security service, the SBU, and the attorney general.

The dismissal orders of SBU chief Ivan Bakanov, a childhood friend of Zelenskiy, and Attorney General Iryna Venediktova, who led efforts to prosecute Russian war crimes in Ukraine, were published on the president’s official website.

In a separate Telegram post, Zelenskiy said he fired the top officials because many cases had come to light of members of their agencies working with Russia.

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He said 651 treason and cooperation cases had been opened against prosecutors and law enforcement officials, and that more than 60 officials from the Bakanov and Venediktova agencies are now working against Ukraine in Russian-occupied areas.

“Such a series of crimes against the foundations of the national security of the state … pose very serious questions to the relevant leaders,” Zelenskiy said.

“Each of these questions will get a good answer,” he said.

Zelenskiy appointed Oleksiy Symonenko as the new Attorney General in a separate executive order that was also published on the president’s site.

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Reporting by Max Hunder Editing by Gareth Jones and Tom Balmforth

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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